Perception of risk in massive transfusion as it relates to fetal outcomes: A survey of surgeons and nurses at one American trauma center

Rindi Uhlich*, Parker Hu, Mark Yazer, Jan O. Jansen, Patricia Patrician, Lindy Reynolds, Marisa B. Marques, Shannon W. Stephens, Rondi B. Gelbard, Jeffrey Kerby, John B. Holcomb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: The use of blood products early in the resuscitation of bleeding trauma patients is widely accepted, but made difficult by limited supplies of D− red blood cell (RBC)-containing products. Use of D+ RBC-containing products would alleviate this issue, but could lead to alloimmunization. Risk associated with transfusing D+ RBC in emergency bleeding situations is being reconsidered. The level of concern surrounding emergency transfusion as it relates to future fetal harm was surveyed among surgeons and nurses. Methods: Faculty and staff in the Departments of Surgery and Nursing were surveyed on the risks of receiving an emergency RBC transfusion and the subsequent potential for fetal harm. Answers were grouped as likely to accept (likely/very likely) or refuse transfusion (unlikely/very unlikely). Participants were compared by sex, and women by child-bearing age, ([15–50 years] vs. [>50 years]). Results: Ninety surveys were initiated with 76 fully completed. Male (n = 39) and female (n = 37) respondents were comparable. Most female respondents (30/37, 81%) were of childbearing age. Overall, both males (38/39, 95%) and females (33/37, 89%; p =.19) were likely to accept a transfusion in an emergency. There was no difference in transfusion acceptance if the risk of fetal harm was presented as 1% (p =.73) or 0.1% (p =.51). Most females (34/37, 92%) were not opposed to transfusion even if there was an unspecified risk of future fetal harm. Conclusion: Most of the surgeons and nurses who responded would accept a transfusion in an emergency situation even if it might lead to harming a future fetus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S159-S166
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • HDFN
  • RhD
  • alloimmunization
  • bleeding
  • emergency
  • pregnancy
  • red blood cell
  • survey
  • transfusion
  • whole blood


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